What is localization in Translation?
By: Vanessa Anderson
It is an era of globalization and digitalization. Distances have reduced. Person living in one corner of the world can purchase products from another corner easily. Thousands of languages are spoken around the globe. Every country’s dialect of language is different.
Some words and slogans which are considered right in your society might not considered right in other culture. Here comes the importance of Localization. Localization is adapting your language according to the culture and needs of the target audience. Localization in translation is required to become a part of global business.
What is Localization?
Localization is altering of product design, packaging and marketing strategies to adapt local markets. To enter into new emerging markets, it is necessary to alter your product according to regional culture and local regulations. For example restaurant franchiser will need to change its menu if certain type of meat is forbidden.
Furthermore for product specification, if required to translate from English to the local language, you also need to change the size of the content which abides by local regulations. Marketing campaigns needs alteration according to cultural differences. For example some kind of costumes or public act of affection may not be suitable in some cultures.
Translation is subset of localization. It includes the translation of product specifications, manuals, and training videos, commercials and website into local language. Many companies get translated their manuals and training materials into multiple languages in order to save cost. These languages include English, Mandarin, Hindi, French, Spanish and Arabic.
With the advancement of e-commerce, corporate websites needs to be translated. Project managers need to know how to communicate with in regional language and should know nuances of nonverbal gestures. For meeting the global partner’s assistance of simultaneous translators needs to be taken.
Locale to localization
You will frequently hear the word locale while expanding your business globally. Locale depicts the language and the place where it is spoken whereas localize means adapt your product according to the culture of your target audience. It involves both the translation and cultural sensitivities, formats and usage.
Importance of locale can well understood by some languages which are spoken in different regions of the world. For example Spanish language is spoken in many parts of the world. In order to reach for target market it is necessary to understand which specific locale (location and language) you are targeting. Localize content of Argentina will be different from Mexico. Same is the case with French.
French spoken in France is different from French spoken in Canada, British and American. Dialect and nuance of British and American English can well be identified by native users. The language differences have tremendous influence on approval and rejection of your product and services.
Localization means you are re-locating your product and services to a new country or region. This made your audience feel that your product and service is designed for them. When the product is localized to meet target audience needs and wants, they will have positive experience with your product.
Localization Importance in Translation
Let’s assume if pharmaceutical company made advertisement regarding headache medicine having a lean person taking a pill and gets well with a simple sketch. This message will be interpreted differently. Foreign customers who read right to left instead of left to right will interpret the advertisement as warning for poison.
So here question rises why localization is important in translation? Localization is the term which helps you in your global outreach efforts? Are you successful or failed in attracting potential customers to attain global business growth. In its initial point, translation and interpretation is the method of converting words literally in different languages.
Internet is full of failure stories of translation. Sometimes some tales originates coincidentally from cultural shock and on the other hand they follow strict word to word translation for example in Chinese Language, portable Fire Extinguisher translated literally to hand grenade. There should be a localization in translation which helps your target market to understand your core message.
Simplest definition of localization says it is the method of altering words and ideas into another language in the pattern of other language which native speakers understand. The core of localization in translation also includes.
- Communicating according to regional dialect.
- Use proper slangs and idioms
- Use of appropriate Colors and pictures keeping in view culture sensitivities.
- Using Conjuring Images to resonate with target audience
- Abiding by the norms and values of the society.
Localization is more than a word choice. It evolves indulging your message and behavior with in the cultural, social, economic and religious norms of the society. It is not a simple task. For successful localization of your brand you need to hire a professional native speaking translator who can understand the nuances and subtleties of target language. Now are you ready for localization?